|Publication number||US7008289 B2|
|Application number||US 10/832,628|
|Publication date||Mar 7, 2006|
|Filing date||Apr 27, 2004|
|Priority date||Oct 16, 2000|
|Also published as||EP1326690A1, EP1326690B1, US20030176146, US20050075041, WO2002032532A1|
|Publication number||10832628, 832628, US 7008289 B2, US 7008289B2, US-B2-7008289, US7008289 B2, US7008289B2|
|Original Assignee||Genie Toys Plc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (35), Referenced by (14), Classifications (6), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional of application Ser. No. 10/414,970, filed Apr. 16, 2003, now abandoned which is a continuation of PCT/GB01/04349, filed Sep. 28, 2001, which claims priority of GB 0025337.7, filed Oct. 16, 2000.
This invention relates to a toy or novelty item involving an element of surprise.
A known jack-in-the-box toy comprises a box containing a figure arranged to jump out when the lid of the box is opened. The figure is attached to a spring, which forces the figure against the lid. In another known toy, a fabric-covered spring simulating a snake ejects itself from a rigid container on removing the lid.
In these known toys, the manufacture of the sprung figure is labor-intensive.
Known jack-in-the-box type toys are characterized by rapid deployment under the action of springs. There may be a plurality of ejecting or extending parts, but these operate substantially simultaneously.
This invention relates to a toy including an openable container, and a non-porous, molded, hollow, elastic three-dimensional representative object arranged to be contained in a compressed condition within the container such that on opening the container the object springs out by assuming its uncompressed shape and size.
In another aspect, the invention relates to a toy including an openable container, and a three-dimensional representative object arranged to be contained within the container such that on opening the container the object springs out, the container being arranged for attachment to another container, wherein opening of the container causes the adjacently fitted other container to open.
Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a toy including an openable container, and a plurality of representative objects concealed within the container such than on opening the container, the objects spring out in a predetermined order.
The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
One aspect of the invention provides a toy or novelty item comprising an openable container, and a non-porous, molded, hollow, elastic, three-dimensional representative object arranged to be contained in a compressed and distorted condition within the container such that on opening the container the object springs out under its inherent elasticity by assuming its uncompressed shape and size.
The representative object may comprise a human, animal, cartoon or fantasy figure or a vehicle or any object such as an item of food, furniture or clothing, which children may wish to collect. The representative object is conveniently injection molded, preferably in one piece, from rubber or an elastomeric material such as a styrene-butadiene-styrene copolymer or another of the copolymers sold under the trademark “Kraton”.
Preferably, the container comprises a lid which is released to open the container. The container may comprise a capsule to which the lid is attached with an interference fit. Alternatively, a releasable catch may be provided for securing the lid to the container. A spring may be provided for biasing the lid into an open position. The container may comprise a parallelepiped box arranged to be demounted on releasing the lid.
The container may itself represent an object in the closed state, such as, but not limited to, a packing case, purse, bag or vehicle.
The representative object can be permanently or temporarily attached to the inside of the container. If the object is not attached or is detachable from the container, at least a portion of the container may be capable of forming a plinth on which the object can be stood.
The object may be decorated, for example, with paint or varnish. The container may be decorated on its outside and/or its inside, for example, by applying stickers or paint.
According to another embodiment of the invention, the container is capable of being attached to an identically shaped container. Such containers can be collected and any number of them can be fitted together in a series. Preferably, opening of one of the containers causes an adjacently fitted container, which may be identical to the first container or be a different collectable container, to open as well. Thus, a series of containers will open in sequence. This embodiment is not limited to compressible elastic representative objects.
Whilst the representative object is usually arranged to spring out generally vertically from the container, it may alternatively be arranged to spring out generally laterally. A plurality of elastic representative objects may be contained within the container. Additionally, one or more relatively rigid representative objects may be contained within the container, formed integrally with a base, wall or lid of the container and/or arranged to spring out when the container is opened, for example, by means of a hinged connection to a wall of the container.
Another aspect of the invention provides a toy or novelty item comprising an openable container, and a plurality of representative objects concealed within the container such that on opening the container the objects spring out in a predetermined order.
Preferably, at least one of the representative objects comprises a representative surface (for example, a floor or wall of a building) on an inside of a flap forming a portion of the container. Further springing representative objects may include figures, vehicles, items of furniture and other pieces of toy equipment.
In a preferred embodiment, on opening the container, for example, by releasing a catch or the like, at least one first representative object springs out quickly and at least one second representative springs out slowly so that it is finally deployed some time (e.g. a few seconds) after the first representative object is deployed. Slow springing may be achieved by using dampened springs in a manner similar to the “soft eject” mechanisms used in known audio tape recorders.
Further parts of the toy can be arranged to fold out under the action of gravity or under a user's control, for example, by pressing a button.
This aspect of the invention can with advantage be combined with the features mentioned above, such as the compressible, preferably hollow, elastic representative objects, which may be detachable, the mutually connectable containers and the containers which represent objects when in the closed condition.
Turning now to the drawings,
The capsule contains a monster-like
By squeezing the base 2 of the capsule, the lid 1 is released and the
In an alternative embodiment, the capsule is a standard ovoid vending machine capsule.
As shown in
To open the box, the protruding end 112 of the lever 108 is depressed, as shown in
As shown in
A peg 238 extends from the lid 227 at one corner adjacent the hinge. A striker plate 239 on the latch slide 232 extends from the backplate 234 at the other rear corner of the lid.
The backplate 234 has a dovetail connecter 240 on one side and a slot (not shown) of corresponding size on the other side. The boxes are connected together by inserting the dovetail connector of one box into the slot of another box.
By depressing operating tab 235 of one box and moving latch slide 232 downwards against the force of latch slide spring 237, tongue 231 disengages from catch 230 and lid 227 is raised about its hinge by lid spring 229. Skirt 228 no longer holds flaps 226, and any of the flaps which do not abut adjacent boxes fall open. At the same time peg 238 of lid 227 hits the striker plate of the adjacent box, if one is attached, causing its latch slide to move downwardly and opening the box. In this manner, a series of connected boxes is opened with a pleasing “domino effect”.
The representative object(s) in this aspect of the invention could be any kind of human, animal or imaginary figure or a plant or vehicle etc, or components (such as furniture) of a play set representing the inside of a house, kitchen or other room, garden etc.
In addition to the springing out of the representative object(s), opening of containers according to the invention could trigger one or more other events, such as music or other sounds, lights, or other motion (for example rotation) of the container or its contents.
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|U.S. Classification||446/310, 446/308|
|International Classification||A63H3/18, A63H13/16|
|Sep 4, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Oct 18, 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 7, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Apr 29, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20140307